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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

OFFICIAL HISTORY: ITS PITFALLS AND CRITERIA

ought to have been thinking about at once. If the
historian is looking for his perihelion of Mercury—his
intractable fact which may be the hint for a higher
synthesis—there are two collateral points which he
might notice, since >they are of the kind that ought
always to make the historian prick his ears. When
Mr. (later Sir) J, W. Headlam-Morley, Historical
Adviser to the Foreign Office, wrote his introduction
to the British Documents relating to the crisis of July,
1914, the points where his remarks revealed official
anxiety concerning the way in which readers might
interpret the documents—and a clear desire to guide
the reader—were those relating to the Russian side of
the question. * Moreover, the two remarkable cases of
omissions from the 1914 Blue Book, which he felt
it necessary to notice in his Introduction (though his
explanations are not entirely satisfying), also had
reference to Russia's part in the crisis, and den<3te the
existence of similar anxiety even in 1914. Headlam-
Morley's remarks may all be taken at their face value—
as an anxiety to prevent misinterpretation rather than
to guide interpretation—and in this case it may be
asserted that they are of no relevance to our argument.
But they represent the kind of points that ought never
to be overlooked; and our attitude should depend on
what happens when they are seen in relation to the other
evidence.

If in the case of the First World War we felt that our
policy should to such a degree be subordinated to
Russia's, it is not irrelevant to note that Professor
Seton-Watson told the Royal Historical Society soon

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